Miscellaneous Information: The Process

A few applicants have submitted inquiries regarding the application review process.  Here are answers to some of the questions that have come in recently.


Does the completion date of my file impact the admission decision?

No, the date a file is completed has no impact on the decision process.  The process of completing files in the office is time consuming and we appreciate your patience as we work quickly to make sure everything has been received so that we may forward the file to the Committee for review.   If we are missing any required documents we will let you know.

When/how will I find out about my decision?

Our goal is to make decisions available in early March.  We do not send out all decisions at once.  Some files take a bit longer to review than others and we do not wait until a decision has been made on every file before starting to send decisions.  When your decision is ready to view you will receive an email from our office letting you know.  The email will instruct you to visit the application site to view your decision letter.

I will post updates on the process on this blog so please make sure to subscribe to the blog by entering your email into the Feedburner box in the right hand menu or add this blog to your RSS reader.

Are interviews a part of the admission process?

With thousands of applicants applying from all over the globe, it is not possible for the Admissions Committee to conduct interviews with students.  In rare cases I may be asked to follow up with an applicant regarding a detail in their application.  As stated, this is rare so you will likely not hear anything from our office until an admission decision has been made.   However, you can stay up-to-date with the admission process by following this blog as I do provide updates on the process.

Will there be an opportunity for admitted applicants to visit SIPA?

SIPA will host an Admitted Student Day on Tuesday, April 13th.  It will be a full day event open to all applicants admitted to SIPA for the fall 2010 semester.  We also have information sessions each Monday and Friday, with exceptions for holidays.  If you wish to register for an information session, you may send an email to sipa_admission@columbia.edu.

Registration for the Admitted Student Day on April 13th will take place after admission decisions have been made.  Registration for Admitted Student Day takes place on a secure Web page and admitted applicants will be given access to this page.

I have more information that I would like to include in my file, can I send it to you?

The application review process at SIPA is paper based.  All of the required documents are placed in a file and that file then is sent to Committee members for review.  Although we know what individuals are reviewing particular files, it is not possible for us to quickly track down files once they are batched and sent out for review.

As you might image, it would not be possible for members of our staff to try to track down a file and add additional documents as this would be incredibly time consuming.  If you submitted all of the required documents and your file is complete, the Committee will have the information it needs to make a final decision.

What size of class does SIPA plan to enroll?

The final enrollment goals may ajust slightly as time progresses, but at this point this is a good estimate of the number of students we wish to actually enroll for fall 2010:

  • MIA: 325 students
  • MPA: 120 students
  • MPA-DP: 25 students

How does being an international student affect my consideration for SIPA fellowships?

First let me say that fellowships at SIPA are mainly reserved for second year students.  Unfortunately we are only able to offer roughly 10-15% of first year students fellowship funding.  Approximately 70% of second year students that qualify to apply (by obtaining at 3.2 GPA at SIPA) receive a second year award and the average award is roughly $20,000.

Second, SIPA fellowships are not based on citizenship.  We have one fellowship budget and it is used to award funding to qualify applicants, no matter the country or origin or citizenship.  Therefore, citizenship has no impact on the fellowship process at SIPA.


As a reminder, I highly recommend that you print this diagram and place it somewhere where you can see it on a daily basis.  The bottom of the diagram shows that you should be at step 3 and you can review steps 4 and 5 to know what to expect starting in early March.

On the top, steps A-G are meant to help provide you with information that will help increase your chances of making attending SIPA a reality.  A thumbnail photo of diagram is below, but click here for the full diagram.